Radyo Sagada holds community radio and mobile phone filmmaking workshops for its new batch of volunteer broadcasters last September2 to 4. Kodao Productions was again its training partner.
Awards founder: ‘He exemplifies offering one’s self and skills in leading efforts to uplift small communities through broadcasting’
Kodao’s Raymund Villanueva won the first-ever Ka Louie Tabing Memorial Achievement Award in Community Broadcasting in the 16th Gandingan Awards given annually by the Community Broadcasters’ Society Inc. (ComBroadSoc) of the University of the Philippines in Los Baños (UPLB).
Cited for his active role in training community radio broadcasters in the Philippines and abroad as well as in establishing community radio stations nationwide, Villanueva won over two other finalists, the Radyo Natin network of the Manila Broadcasting Company and Radyo Katabang of the local government unit of Vinzons, Camarines Norte.
The award was named after the late Lucio “Ka Louie” N. Tabing, hailed for advocating for the inclusion of the rural masses and the indigenous peoples in broadcasting and development. He died in January 2018 of natural causes.
“Ngayong taon…ay nahanap na natin ang kauna-unahang tatanggap ng Ka Louie Tabing Memorial Achievement Award in Community Broadcasting. Siya ang ating ehemplo sa pag-aalay ng sarili at kakayahan upang manguna sa pagtataguyod ng kapakanan ng maliliit na komunidad sa pamamagitan ng pamamahayag at pagtuturo sa mga mamamamayan,” Gandingan Awards founder and UPLB Prof. Mark Lester M. Chico said.
(This year, we have found our first-ever recipient of the Ka Louie Tabing Memorial Achievement Award in Community Broadcasting. He exemplifies offering one’s self and skills in leading efforts to uplift small communities through broadcasting and teaching citizens.)
UPLB Department of Development Broadcasting and Telecommunication (DDBTC) chairperson Dr. Trina Leah T. Mendoza said the Ka Louie Tabing Award is recognition to radio stations and personalities who have significantly contributed to the field of development through their reporting and storytelling.
“Following a thorough deliberation by the DDBTC and in partnership with the UP Community Broadcasters’ Society, we have selected an awardee who has championed community radio broadcasting through the establishment of community radio stations in the country and capacity building of community radio broadcasters throughout the Asia-Pacific region,” Dr. Mendoza said in her announcement of the winner.
“This award is truly significant because Ka Louie was a pioneer in both the concept and practice of community radio broadcasting in the Philippines and beyond,” she added.
Dr. Mendoza said Villanueva is a broadcaster and journalist of 25 years and a chief reporter and editor who focus on human rights and peace journalism.
Villanueva has participated in both successful and aborted attempts to establish community radio stations in Cagayan, Mountain Province, Leyte, Cebu, Iloilo and Bukidnon provinces, as well as in Metro Manila.
He has hosted and produced multi-awarded radio shows in several commercial, campus and religious radio stations in Metro Manila.
As a community broadcasting advocate, he has given trainings and workshops for communities and organizations throughout the Philippines and among migrant Filipino communities in Hong Kong, Italy and The Netherlands. He has also represented the Philippines in community radio conferences and assemblies in Argentina, Nepal, Thailand, Indonesia, India, and Timor Leste as participant and trainer.
FOR ELENA AND FRENCHIE MAE
In his acceptance speech, Villanueva paid tribute to Tabing he credits for encouraging Kodao Productions towards community radio broadcasting.
He said Tabing is highly regarded as a pioneer in the global movement of community broadcasters.
Villanueva however complained of the burning of Radyo Cagayano, the closure of Radyo Lumad due to red-tagging, and the failure of Radyo Taclobanon, Radyo Sugbuanon and Radyo Komunidad among urban poor communities in Metro Manila to proceed due to harassments from suspected state agents.
He also cited the 2020 abduction and subsequent death of Bantayan Island development worker Elena Tijamo who turned up dead in a Mandaluyong City hospital a year later.
Tijamo, a red-tagging victim, assisted in the establishment of Radyo Sugbuanon that was later forced to stop test broadcasts after repeated police harassment.
In a Facebook post Saturday night, Villanueva also called for the release of Tacloban-based broadcaster Frenchie Mae Cumpio he helped train to later become anchor and station manager of the planned Radyo Taclobanon.
Red-tagged, Cumpio is accused by the government of being a communist guerrilla even while she was hosting a regular weekly radio show in Palo, Leyte.
“But we will not stop in our efforts to establish more community radio stations in the future. We persevere because of our desire for genuine social justice that is possible only when the people have their own free voice,” Villanueva said.
“There is no democracy if the people are silenced,” he added.This year’s Gandingan Awards is themed, “Naninindigan para sa ating mga karapatan” (Standing up for our rights) its organizers said is a salute to media workers and institutions who stand up for the human and other rights that are under attack.
The award is named after a set of four hanging gongs that are part of a kulintang ensemble and also used by the Maguindanao youth to communicate.
VETERAN JOURNALIST, PRESS FREEDOM ADVOCATE
Villanueva is Kodao Production’s director for radio who has hosted radio programs in several radio stations throughout his career as broadcaster-journalist.
He has filed news reports from Hong Kong, India, Nepal, Indonesia, Malaysia, Turkey, China, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Thailand, Italy, The Netherlands, Argentina, Timor Leste, Norway, and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
A press freedom advocate, he is the immediate past deputy secretary general of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines that he also served as a two-term national director. He is currently the NUJP’s media safety officer for Luzon.
Villanueva is a previous winner of several Gawad Agong Awards for his reportage on the national minorities and was the 2015 Titus Brandsma Emergent Leadership in Journalism awardee of the Carmelite Order in the Philippines.
He is a fellow of the first and only Diploma in Radio Journalism program of the Asian Institute of Journalism at the Ateneo de Manila University in 2006 and a fellow of the Graciano Lopez Jaena Community Journalism Workshop on human rights reporting of the College of Mass Communication of the University of the Philippines in Diliman in 2012.
He authored two books on Kodao’s reports on the peace process between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines.
His first book published in 2018 was a collection of poems from the 1990s to the 2010s. #
‘Heart-rending,’ Society of Filipino Film Reviewers says
Kodao Productions’ video documentary on the burial of infant River Emmanuel Nasino, three month old daughter of political prisoner Reina Mae Nasino, won Best Short Documentary honors at the 2nd Pinoy Rebyu Awards by the Society of Filipino Film Reviewers (SFFR).
“For exposing who the real terrorizers are and their bottomless pit of injustice and indecency to deny the human rights of those they supposedly serve, the 2nd Pinoy Rebyu Awards for Best Documentary Short Film goes to RIVER OF TEARS AND RAGE,” the society’s announcement on Monday, February 28, said.
“Heart-rending,” SFFR further said of the film.
River of Tears and Rage was a film culled from Kodao Productions’ coverage of the infant’s wake and Facebook Live coverage of River Emmanuel’s burial on October 2020 when jail authorities ran away with the cadaver.
“Amid a raging coronavirus pandemic, a dead three month-old infant became a symbol of political repression by a regime denounced worldwide for its crimes against the people,” Kodao said during the film’s launch on October 2021, the first anniversary of the incident.
The film was an official selection in last year’s Cine Maralita Film Festival and was shown in special screenings in the United States and Canada.
The film was directed and edited by Maricon Montajes, herself a former political prisoner.
Starting out as Pinoy Rebyu in 2011 that aggregated reviews of local films and coming up with annual polls of the best Filipino films, the SFFR was created in 2021 to promote film education, preservation, criticism, and exhibition of Philippine cinema.
The other 2nd Pinoy Rebyu Awards winners are:
Best Film: Kun Maupay Man It Panahon
Best Director: Erik Matti (On the Job: The Missing 8)
Best Lead Performance: John Arcilla (On the Job: The Missing 8)
Best Supporting Performance: Jay Glorioso (Rabid)
Best Screenplay: Erik Matti and Michiko Yamamoto (On the Job: The Missing 8)
Best Ensemble Performance: On the Job: The Missing 8
Best Film Editing: Benjo Ferrer (Kun Maupay Man It Panahon)
Best Cinematography: Teck Shang Lim (Kun Maupay Man It Panahon)
Best Production Design: Whammy Alcazaren (Kun Maupay Man It Panahon)
Best Film Score: Andrew Florentino (Kun Maupay Man It Panahon)
Best Documentary Feature: Last Days at Sea
Best First Feature: Kun Maupay Man It Panahon
Best Live Action Short: Kids on Fire
Best Animated Short: Mga Ulap Tayong Naging Ulan
WATCH: RIVER OF TEARS AND RAGE
Kodao Productions was among the winners in this year’s Human Rights Pinduteros’s Choice Awards given by HRonlinePH.
Kodao’s post of Altermidya Network’s statement “On the incredulous red-tagging of Altermidya Network at the Dec. 1 Senate hearing” won in the awards’ Human Rights Network’s Posts category, receiving the most number of clicks in a poll held last November 10 to 25 on HRonlinePH’s website and Facebook page.
It condemned National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict’s red-tagging of Altermidya, an alliance of community journalist, independent media outfits, community radio broadcasters and grassroots film collectives.
Kodao’s deputy director for radio Raymund Villanueva said the media outfit dedicates the award to National Artist for Literature Bienvenido Lumbera and Commission on Human Rights Chairperson (CHR) Jose Luis Martin C. Gascon who both died of illness this year.
“Ka Bien had been our Board of Directors chairperson for the longest time and Chito had been our friend and supporter since he became CHR chairperson. Both were staunch human rights defenders,” Villanueva said.
For human rights heroes
HRonlinePH said its 11th Pinduteros’ Choice Awards is a recognition and appreciation of its human rights heroes who persevere in defending human rights.
“Through our annual gathering we recognize the significant contribution of individuals and groups for raising awareness, inspiring and acting for human rights,” HRonlinePH co-founder Jerbert Briola said.
HRonlinePH’s annual Pinduteros’ Choice Award is its traditional culmination of a two-day human rights conference that focuses on freedom of expression.
Other 11th Pinduteros’ Choice Awards winners were:
HR Pinduteros Choice for HR BLOGSITE: Minding Mindoro and beyond by Norman Novio
HR Pinduteros Choice for HR EVENT: A Story from the HeART by UP Educators’ Circle (UP EdCirc
HR Pinduteros Choice for HR VIDEOS: #SanaAllDapatAll Pantay at Patas | #WokeDTalk2021 Episode 1 by TFDP and Y4R
HR Pinduteros Choice for FEATURED OFF THE SHELF/RESOURCES: Tuligsa at iba pang mga Tula ni Rene Boy E. Abiva
HR Pinduteros Choice for FEATURED SITE: QUARANTALK MEDIA
HR Pinduteros Choice for HR CAMPAIGN: #BabaeMakapangyarihan by World March Of Women-Pilipinas
HR Pinduteros Choice for RIGHT-UP: Isang Bukas na Liham Para kay Bb. Angel Locsin by Jose Mario De Vega
HR Pinduteros Choice for WEBSITE: KARAPATAN Network for the Advancement of Peoples’ Rights
Karapatan won for the second year in a row.
The 11th Pinduteros’ Choice Awards also honored Forum Asia and the British Embassy in Manila with special plaques of appreciation for their support to HRonlinePH.
Briola said the awards is their contribution to the commemoration of International Human Rights Day that recognizes the dissemination, promotion and publication of materials, events, articles and articles on human rights.
“This year’s awardees did not waver in their commitment to human rights despite various obstacles and hardships. These defenders did not give up. This award is a recognition and celebration of their relentless advocacy for human rights in the midst of pandemic and tyranny,” Briola said. #
Inilahad ng mga manggagawang medikal ng National Kidney and Transplant Institute ang kanilang sitwasyon sa pakikipaglaban sa global pandemic na COVID-19.
Ipinahayag nila ang kahalagahan ng pagkakaroon ng free mass testing sa bansa na anila ay dapat isinasagawa sa mga hospital worker at hindi sa mga VIP. Inilahad nila na may mga pasyente na napapauwi na bago pa dumating ang mabagal na resulta ng test. May namamatay na pasyente sa ganitong sistema, ayon sa kanila.
Panawagan nila sa gobyerno na dagdagan ang benepisyo at insentibo sa mga manggagawang medikal lalo na ngayon na nakikita ang panganib na sinusuong nila sa mga panahong tulad ng sa kasalukuan. (Panayam ni Jek Alcaraz)
By Joseph Cuevas
PROGRESSIVE GROUPS and individuals joined an online campaign Monday night, March 31, demanding the freedom of all political prisoners amidst the threat of the corona virus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.
According to human rights group Karapatan that initiated the campaign, #FreePoliticalPrisonersPh and #SetThemFree became trending for two hours and ranked numbers 29 and 30 respectively in the country.
The online campaign followed the appeal of relatives of political prisoners and the call of United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet for governments to take urgent action to protect the health and safety of people in detention since, in many countries, “detention facilities are overcrowded, in some cases dangerously so.”
“People are often held in unhygienic conditions and health services are inadequate or even non-existent. Physical distancing and self-isolation in such conditions are practically impossible,” Bachelet said.
The Bureau of Jail Management and Penology reported a 450% jail congestion rate nationwide last October with 380 out of 467 detention facilities in the country filled beyond capacity while a 310% congestion rate were recorded by the Bureau of Corrections this January, Karapatan said.
Karapatan emphasized that the inhumane conditions in prisons imperil the life and health of detainees, particularly the sick, the elderly, as well as pregnant women and nursing mothers.
They also added that the “State policy on public health measures must be implemented, not militarist and punitive measures like mass arrests that only criminalize and punish the poor and the marginalized while failing to address their legitimate needs and demands.”
As of March 28, there are 609 political prisoners in the country, 100 of whom are women.
The group added that 47 political prisoners in its list are elderly while 63 suffer from serious ailments.
Earlier, the National Council of Churches in the Philippines and San Carlos Bishop Gerardo Alminaza made similar appeals for the release of political prisoners, as well as other sick and elderly prisoners, including those about to be paroled or pardoned, to decongest the country’s jails and prevent a further outbreak of the virus. #
By Mong Palatino
A book published in 2018 documented the challenges faced by community radio networks in the Philippines. This author interviewed one of the groups behind the book project about the significance of community radio in a country where most of the murdered journalists are broadcasters from the rural provinces.
Titled ‘Amplifying the People’s Voices: The Philippine Community Radio Experience and Challenges’, the book was published by the International Association of Women in Radio and Television and Kodao Productions. [Note: Kodao is a content partner of Global Voices.]
Jola Diones-Mamangun, executive director of Kodao, shared via email some of the highlights of the book and the current challenges of community radio broadcasting under the government of President Rodrigo Duterte. First, she explained what community radio means:
Community radio is broadcasting or ‘narrowcasting’ by a community on a topic that is of importance to them through a (usually) low-power radio transmitter (broadcasting) or a public-address system (narrowcasting). It is a form of a town-hall meeting that uses the radio program format. Both the broadcaster/s and the interviewee/s are usually members of the community themselves. If the community succeeds in putting a community radio station, they broadcast a series of programs that is similar to how other radio stations operate (eg, Radyo Sagada). If not, they can set up a public address system and place speakers around the community and the program/s usually last for just hours (eg. Radyo San Roque).
Sagada is part of the Cordillera Region, the home of the Igorot indigenous peoples, in the northern part of the Philippines. San Roque is an urban poor community in Metro Manila, the country’s capital region.
She mentioned how community radio stations formed a network in the early 1990s
There have been earlier stand-alone community radio stations in the Philippines but it was only in the early 1990s that the late Louie Tabing started the Tambuli network of community radio stations. He is acknowledged in the global community radio broadcasting movement as an Asian pioneer.
She said Kodao’s work was inspired by the legacy of the Tambuli Network. Tambuli spearheaded the establishment of more than 20 community radio stations in remote villages across the Philippines, with assistance from various sectors such as the academe, church, international NGOs, and the communities themselves.
She then summarized the main challenges faced by community radio in the past two decades:
Sustainability is the main challenge. When funding for Tambuli dried up, most of the stations became moribund, shriveling the network and stopping the project on its tracks.
Second problem are the laws that appear to discourage the establishment of independent community radio stations. For example, while there are more than a hundred Radyo Natin stations all over the archipelago—low-power Manila Broadcasting Company (MBC)-owned stations—there are very few genuine community radio stations such as Radyo Sagada. It is unjust that large networks such as MBC are given hundreds of frequencies on both AM and FM bands that it is no longer possible, for example to put a radio station in the Metro Manila area, or Cebu, Iloilo, Davao and others. What if the Dumagats of Antipolo want to have a radio station of their own? [Dumagats are indigenous peoples from Rizal province. Antipolo is part of Rizal, located east of Metro Manila].
Third, because they are non-profit, community-owned and operated, and assisted by non-government organizations, genuine community radio stations are often victims of attacks and harassments, leading to their closure or abortion of their establishment. Radyo Cagayano was burned down and its staff attacked in Baggao, Cagayan in 2006; Radyo Sugbuanon’s full operation was aborted because of threats by the police and politicians; Radyo Lumad was closed last January 2019 because of threats and harassments. NGOs that help put them up are red-tagged and some have even been killed or imprisoned.
Radyo Cagayano, Radyo Lumad, and Radyo Sugbuanon are located in communities where the residents have been either resisting the entry and expansion of mining interests or opposing the approval of large-scale projects that could destroy their homes and livelihoods. These radio stations have consistently worked with communities threatened with displacement by broadcasting the issue and providing a platform for local residents to articulate their demands. It is this mission of ‘amplifying the people’s voices’ that led to vicious attacks targeting those who are speaking truth to power.
She emphasized that the ‘people’s right to communication’ should be part of the broader struggle for real development and inclusive democracy in the Philippines:
These are no small challenges that could be addressed by simple problem-solving. There must a systemic social change if community radio is to finally succeed in the Philippines. It must be pursued as part of the people’s right to communication. If the marginalized are underserved by the mass media establishment, they must be allowed to be their own voice (as opposed to claims that they are voiceless and that the networkers are giving them one.
She accused the Duterte government, which came to power in 2016, of enabling more attacks against the independent press including community radio:
It is under the Duterte regime that Radyo Sugbuanon and Radyo Lumad have been threatened, leading to the abortion of the former’s full establishment and the closure of the latter.
She said Kodao plans to give copies of the book to mass communication schools throughout the country to serve as a resource. She added that the book can be part of a campaign to push for an enabling law promoting community radio broadcasting in the Philippines.
(This article was first published by Global Voices, an international and multilingual community of bloggers, journalists, translators, academics, and human rights activists. It is republished by Kodao as part of a content sharing agreement.)
Ni Carlos Marquez
KUNG ikaw ay magsasaka ng palay na taga-Nueva Ecija at inis-na-inis ka sa Kongreso sa pagsasabatas ng taripa sa bigas; kung sumasagad na sa rurok ang kinikimkim mong galit sa mga nakakahiyang kamangmangan na ipinapakita sa mga desisyon at deklarasyon ng maraming opisyal ng gobyerno; kung hindi mo na talaga mapagkasya sa sikmura ang mga ipinalulunok sa iyong galung-galong dugo ng mga pinapatay sa tinatawag na gyera sa droga; kung nagpupuyos ka na sa himutok at galit sa pilit na panghihimasok ng mga militar sa mga paaralan at kanayunan; kung sa tingin mo’y nawawala na ang katinuan…tumula ka.
Ganito ang nasumpungang paraan ni Raymund B. Villanueva, isang aktibistang mamamahayag at makata, upang ibuhos ang naimbak na galit. Isinatinta niya ang mga galit na iyon at inilatag sa papel. Ang resulta: “Persolitika”.
LUNAS ang pagtula, o pagsulat nito – alternatibong lunas pero hindi panandalian ang bisa (palliative). Pangmatagalan. Upang guminhawa ang pakiramdam, ibinuhos ni Raymund ang marahil ay malaking bahagdan ng mga naipong likido sa katawan sa 100-pahina ng mga tula at litrato tungkol sa personal at pampolitikang kaisipan sa “Persolitika: Mga tula at larawan”. Ang mga sakit ng lipunan na nagmistula nang epidemya pagkaraan ng maraming panahon ay sinisikap lunasan ng mga manunulat – mamamahayag man o makata. Subalit habang patuloy ang matahimik na pagsigaw sa ibabaw ng papel, parang mas lalo pang dumarami ang problema. Parang mga gremlin na habang nababasa ay lalong dumarami. (Parang tagyawat ni Yolly Samson: “Sa kakaisip sa ‘yo tagyawat dumadami…”). Kaya nga, tumula nang tumula si Villanueva at may lunas na dala ang mga tula niya.
Katulad ng epidemya ang mga tula sa “Persolitika” – nakakahawa. At nakakamangha. Pati na ang mga dakilang haligi ng panulatang Filipino ay napatayo, napatigalgal, at sumaludo sa 23 tulang personal, 40 tulang politikal, at 32 larawan na may indayog din at sining. Dalawa sa mga nagpugay sa mga tula sa “Persolitika” ni Villanueva ay sina NVM Gonzales at Jose Ma. Sison. Sutsot lamang ng mga nota ng pangalan ng dalawang ito ay dumagundong na kampana na pumupukaw sa isang maingay na metropolis.
Si NVM Gonzales o Néstor Vicente Madali González ay isang higanteng nobelista, manunulat ng maiikling kuwento, at makata, na may gawad na Pambansang Alagad ng Sining Para sa Panitikang Pilipino nuong 1997. (Binigyan ni NVM ng pagkilala kung anong uring manunulat si Villanueva nuong 1995, apat na taon bago siya pumanaw). May gawad din siya ng pinakamimithi ng mga manunulat sa panitikan na Carlos Palanca.
Samantala, kilala ng marami si Jose Maria Sison bilang isang manunulat na aktibista na siyang nagtatag ng Communist Party of the Philippines.
Bakit ganoon na lamang ang pagpupugay ng mga bathala ng panitikang Filipino kay Raymund B. Villanueva?
Dumampot tayo ng ilan sa mga tula sa “Persolitika” upang malaman.
Sa tula, halimbawa, na “Sa Gabi ng Pangungulila” ay nakipagkumperensya si Villanueva sa mga salik ng gabi – buwan, kuliglig, batis, at hangin – upang punan ang nabuong gawak ng kalungkutan sa pagkakalayo sa kanyang minamahal. Romantiko si Villanueva. “Maglakbay tayo, giliw/At idampi bilang halik ang luhang naging hangin./Sana’y kanyang mabatid/Ako’y nagmamahal pa rin.” Akala ni Raymund ay siya lamang ang nakikipagbuno sa kalungkutan ng gabing iyon. Sa kabilang bahagi ng gabi, balisa rin marahil ang kanyang irog noon sa pagkakahiga.
Hindi ba kapag hindi makatulog ang mga bata, kukuwentuhan sila hanggang sa mamungay ang mga mata at lunurin ng antok ng mga ritmo ng mga kataga sa “Mga Kuwento ni Lolo Raymund”? Pero iba ang mga kuwento sa “Bedtime stories”. Ang kuwento niya’y hindi alamat ng siyudad (urban legend). Ang kuwento niya’s katatakutan. Mga nakakatakot na katotohanan. Mga signos ng panahon.
“When our children tire of stories
About our rich kings
We tell them stories of the queen’s warriors.
In shooting unarmed peasants
Or defenseless workers
Mercenaries whose shield is the civilian populace
Whose commanders are foreign-trained.”
Sa halip na makatulog, ang mga bata’y magigising. Babangon, magmamasid, makikisangkot.
ANG lalim ng isang tula, ayon kay Jose Garcia Villa, ay katulad ng isang himala, may tugtugin katulad ng awit ng ibong “seagull”. Ang tulang masusumpangan sa maraming pagkakataon, kasama ang mga hinaing ng mga magsasaka, ay may talinghaga at musika.
Sa “Literal”, pakinggan po natin ang deklarasyon ng mga magsasaka sa Palo, Leyte nuong 2005. “Ang salita ng mga magsasaka: ‘Atin muling pagyamanin ang lupa./Subalit ang mga sundalo’y hindi kailangang/Maging literal.”
Sinabi ng mga magsasaka ng Palo, Leyte na “Nais naming ng matagalang kapayapaan.” Ang totoo, naging literal ang pag-intindi ng mga sundalo.
May robotikang pag-iisip ang mga sundalo. Programado.
Inilathala ng Pantas Publishing and Printing, Inc. at ng Kodao Productions, Inc., ang “Persolitka Mga tula at larawan” ni Raymund B. Villanueva ay mabibili sa Popular Book Store. #
Respondents Suniway and IP Converge, in their respective answers filed in court, deny any knowledge in the cyberattacks launched against us. Both absolve themselves of any accountability to the three-month long distributed denial of service attacks despite the fact that their infrastructure were used in these attacks.
How could one then explain that after the filing of civil case against these companies, the cyberattacks stopped?
We also decry the counterclaim filed by both companies in the total amount of P6.5 million for allegedly besmirching their reputation. It’s clear that we, the plaintiffs, have no malice and only state, as a matter of fact, the results of forensic investigation done by Qurium identifying them as sources of DDoS attacks.
The filing of counterclaim is an act of harassment against non-profit media outfits and meant to intimidate us. We are not backing down.
Dec. 26, 2018
On December 26, 2018, several news outfits carried stories about a certain Mario Ludades, who claims to be a former ranking officer and founder of the Communist Party of the Philippines, accusing the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines of being one of the supposed “legal fronts” of the revolutionary movement.
On the same day, the alternative media outfits Bulatlat and Kodao – which both house NUJP chapters – were taken down almost simultaneously before noon.
That these assaults on freedom of the press and of free expression took place on the 50th founding anniversary of the CPP is clearly no coincidence.
This is, of course, not the first time the NUJP has been the target of such lies. The organization was also one of those identified as “enemies of the state” in the PowerPoint presentation “Knowing the Enemy” created in 2005 by the Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and which the military showed in schools and other venues.
In the case of Ludades, who identifies himself as spokesman of the “No to Communist Terrorist Group Coalition” and an indigenous people’s leader in the Cordillera region, it does not take rocket science to guess who is behind him and the lies he spouts.
The charge of being a “legal front” of the communists is so absurd it is tempting to dismiss it outright. Nevertheless, we are treating it seriously because it puts the organization, its officers and members in potential risk.
On the other hand, the takedowns of Bulatlat and Kodao, which state security forces have also time and again accused of links to the revolutionary underground, bear similar signs as the attack that led to the shutting down of the NUJP site a few months back.
The attack on the alternative media outfits happened soon after they posted stories about the CPP.
They also come after an incident last week when armed men in civilian clothes believed to be military or police operatives were seen in the vicinity of the office building that houses Kodao and a number of activist organizations that the government openly tags as “front organizations” of the communist revolutionary movement.
We stress that the “alternative media” are a legitimate part of the Philippine media community whose take on current events and issues broaden the national discourse and provide an invaluable contribution to the growth of democracy.
Only those who seek to suppress freedom of thought and of expression would seek to silence them and, for that matter, independent media as a whole.
If Ludades and his handlers, and those behind the taking down of the Bulatlat and Kodao sites, couldn’t be more wrong if they think they can intimidate us with stupid stunts like these.
The NUJP and all independent Filipino journalists have not and will never be cowed into giving up the continued struggle for genuine freedom of the press and of expression in the country. This is not a boast. It is a fact.
See related article here: https://www.gmanetwork.com/…/ex-cpp-member-exposes-…/story/…